History of Barbie

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The History of Barbie

Barbie doll story starts in the 1930ís when a girl named Ruth meets a boy named Elliot. They fall in love. She later graduates and wants to go to college. It was a time when women just got married and raised a family. She went to college, got married and raised two children, Barbie and Ken.

In the mid 1940ís, they owned a company that made wooden picture frames. Elliot began to use the scraps of wood from picture frames to make doll furniture. This was the beginning of their toy business.

In the mid 1950ís, Ruth Handler purchased a German Lilli doll. Lilli was a shapely, pretty fashion doll first made in 1955. She was originally fashioned after a famous cartoon character in the West German Newsletter, Bild. Lilli was made of hard plastic with molded on shoes and earrings. Her hair was long and pulled back into a ponytail. There was a large wardrobe available for this doll. Lilli is the doll that would inspire Ruth Handler to design the Barbie doll.

Ruth knew what she wanted Barbie to look like. With help of her technicians and engineers at Mattel (the company), Barbie was born. It was in 1958 that the patent for Barbie was obtained. This would be a fashion doll unlike any of her time. She would be long limbed, shapely and beautiful.

Paper fashion dolls of the times would give way to a three dimensional beauty with a wardrobe of unsurpassed quality. Ruth and Elliot would name their new fashion doll after their own daughter, Barbie. Barbie doll soon to be boyfriend Ken, would be named after their son Ken.

In 1959, Barbie doll would make her way to the New York Toy Show and receive a cool reception from the toy buyers. By 1960, the mood would change and the orders started pouring in to Mattel. It took several years for Mattel to catch up with the demand for Barbie. Within ten years, the public purchased $500 million worth of Barbie products.

Barbie has undergone a lot of changes over the years and has managed to keep up with current trends in hairstyles, makeup and clothing. She is a reflection of the history of fashion since her introduction to the toy market.

History of Barbie - Timeline

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